Fife children to benefit from increased pre-school education

Archived news: published on Monday 06 Apr 2009 by Fife Council

FIFE’S pre-school children will have more, free nursery care from next year along with a number of improvements in Early Years care, following a Fife Council review of services.


The council’s concordat with the Scottish Government will see all three and four year olds receiving 15 hours pre-school per week; at present they receive 12.5 hours.


Councillors today agreed to a review of Fife’s Early Years provision and to consult on the changes necessary to bring in the new extended nursery week.


Councillor Douglas Chapman, Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: ”It has been shown that early intervention has the greatest impact on breaking cycles of poverty and poor outcomes. Support provided to young families early on can help prevent problems later.


“We want to take this opportunity to change the service we provide to pre-school children and their families and look at the wider picture in Fife.”


Councillors were told that the work done in family centres is seen to be the ideal set up   for early years care and the Education Services would like to increase the number of family centres in Fife.


Currently there are three family centres in Fife, Beanstalk in Dunfermline, Fair Isle in Kirkcaldy and Ladybird in Glenrothes.  The philosophy of the family centres is based on multi-agency support, together with early intervention strategies to support young children and families. Parents and carers have more direct input and are encouraged to work closely with their child and the centre.


Family centres provide longer daily care, or wrap around care, according to needs and are open throughout the year. This can help parents who are trying to get back inot work or support training. The centres accept younger children, from as young as 15 months and offer a range of parental support groups as well.

Donna Manson, Education Officer, said: “Fife’s Early Years Service has been highlighted by HMIe as an area of good practice and our pre-school provision is a high-performing service. The performance of our partners in the private sector is significantly lower and we want to level this out and provide a more equal provision across Fife.


“Our vision is to continue to have in place a workforce able to deliver the highest quality of pre-school education for all our children eanbling Fife to sustain and continue to improve its pre-school provision to a very high quality.


“At present every Fife Council nursery has a nursery teacher but, because of the varying sizes of nurseries, teacher time is not equal for all children in Fife. A review of the whole Early Years service will look at the work going on across Fife in council nurseries, partner nurseries and family centres and allow us to come up with a model which will satisfy  the terms of the concordat and better meet the needs of all Fife’s children.”


Douglas Chapman, Councillor 
Contact Douglas Chapman online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT
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